Administrative divisions of Metro Manila

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Metro Manila, the capital region of the Philippines, is a large metropolitan area that has several levels of subdivisions. Administratively, the region is divided into seventeen primary local government units with their own separate elected mayors and councils who are coordinated by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, a national government agency headed by a chairperson directly appointed by the Philippine president. The cities and municipality that form the region's local government units are further divided into several barangays or villages (formerly called barrios) which are headed by an elected barangay captain and barangay council.

The region as a whole is geographically divided into four districts, of which the first district is the central capital City of Manila, the second and third districts located to the east and north of the City, respectively, and the fourth district covering the remaining areas of the region south of the City and the Pasig River.


Unlike other administrative regions in the Philippines, Metro Manila is not composed of provinces. Instead, the region is divided into four geographic areas called "districts."[1] The districts have their district centers at the four original cities in the region: the city-district of Manila (Capital District), Quezon City (Eastern Manila), Caloocan (Northern Manila, also informally known as CAMANAVA), and Pasay (Southern Manila).[2] The districts serve mainly to organize the region's local government units for fiscal and statistical purposes.

Districts of Metro Manila
Districts of Metro Manila
District Cities/Municipality Population (2015) Area
Capital District
(1st District)
Manila 1,780,148 42.88 km2
(16.56 sq mi)
Eastern Manila District
(2nd District)
4,650,613 236.36 km2
(91.26 sq mi)
Northern Manila District (CAMANAVA)
(3rd District)
2,819,388 126.42 km2
(48.81 sq mi)
Southern Manila District
(4th District)
3,626,104 208.28 km2
(80.42 sq mi)
Metro Manila 12,876,253 619.57 km2
(239.22 sq mi)

Independent cities and municipality[edit]

The seventeen local government units of Metro Manila are administratively equal to provinces. They are composed of sixteen independent cities, classified as highly urbanized cities, and one independent municipality: Pateros.

Primary local government units of Metro Manila, 2012
City/Municipality Population as of 2015[3] Area
Manila 1,780,148 42.88
Caloocan 1,583,978 53.33
Las Piñas 588,894 32.02
Makati 582,602 27.36
Malabon 365,525 15.96
Mandaluyong 386,276 11.06
Marikina 450,741 22.64
Muntinlupa 504,509 41.67
Navotas 249,463 11.51
Parañaque 664,822 47.28
Pasay 416,522 18.31
Pasig 755,300 31.46
Pateros 63,840 1.76
Quezon City 2,936,116 165.33
San Juan 122,180 5.87
Taguig 804,915 45.18
Valenzuela 620,422 45.75


The cities and municipality of Metro Manila are divided into barangays with populations ranging from under 1,000 to over 200,000. In the City of Manila, Caloocan and Pasay, the barangays are grouped into zones for strategical purposes. As of 2010, there are 1,704 barangays in Metro Manila.

Other divisions[edit]

Legislative districts[edit]

In terms of congressional representation, the region has 32 legislative districts with each city comprising one or more legislative districts. The lone municipality of Pateros shares a legislative district with the first district of Taguig.

Old districts[edit]

Metro Manila cities may also be divided into traditional districts, such as the former municipalities (now city districts) that make up the City of Manila and the historical municipalities and estates like Novaliches, Balintawak, San Francisco del Monte and Diliman that were amalgamated to form Quezon City. Neither division has its own government. In Pasay, traditional districts include Malibay, Santa Clara, San Rafael and Maricaban.

Gated communities[edit]

Some cities in Metro Manila may also be divided into several gated communities, also known as subdivisions, which may or may not constitute their own barangays or low-level local government units. Some examples are: La Vista, White Plains, BF Homes, Greenmeadows and Filinvest Homes in Quezon City; and Marina Bay, Merville, Tahanan Village and Better Living Subdivision in Parañaque.

Historical divisions[edit]

Before 1901[edit]

Before 1901, the Province of Manila which today encompasses most of Metro Manila and the northern part of the neighboring province of Rizal was divided into 24 municipalities with Intramuros (then known as Manila) as its capital.


Except for the City of Manila which amalgamated six smaller municipalities in June 1901, the Province of Manila was absorbed by the newly created Province of Rizal with Pasig as its provincial capital.


The City of Greater Manila was formed in January 1942 combining the City of Manila and Quezon City, as well as six other municipalities from Rizal: Caloocan, Makati, Mandaluyong, Parañaque, Pasay and San Juan.[7]


The seven municipalities of the City of Greater Manila were restored and reorganized under the Province of Rizal.

In November 1975 through Presidential Decree No. 824, Metropolitan Manila was created out of four cities and thirteen municipalities (twelve from the province of Rizal and the municipality of Valenzuela from Bulacan) which covers the present-day territory of Metro Manila.[8] It was declared the National Capital Region of the Philippines in June 1978.[9]


  1. ^ "Municipal and City Level Estimates" (PDF). National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Environmental Management Bureau – National Capital Region". Environmental Management Bureau. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Census of Population (2015). Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "An Update on the Earthquake Hazards and Risk Assessment of Greater Metropolitan Manila Area" (PDF). Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. November 14, 2013. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Enhancing Risk Analysis Capacities for Flood, Tropical Cyclone Severe Wind and Earthquake for the Greater Metro Manila Area Component 5 – Earthquake Risk Analysis" (PDF). Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and Geoscience Australia. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  6. ^ Pateros; Land Use Classification
  7. ^ "Executive Order No. 400, s. 1942". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Presidential Decree No. 824, s. 1975". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Presidential Decree No. 1396, s. 1978". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 22 September 2015.